Nar 20, 228: Negotiations

Summary: Grand Duke Mantilo's audience with the Queen and King does not go as planned.
OOC Date: 23/07/2013 (OOC)
Related: Happens before the Knighting Ceremony.
Callem Laetitia Caedmon Mantilo Emerit 
Throne Room, Darfield Castle
The feature of the Throne Room of Darfield Castle that draws most eyes immediately is the magnificent throne, raised on a dais at the far end of the room. The Kilgour Family coat of arms, passed down from father to son through the centuries, occupies a place of honor above the royal throne.

A rug of purple softens the path across the white marble floor, swirling patterns picked out in glinting silver thread. To each side of the rug, stand tall silver vases of Stargazer Lilies and Irises, their heady scent drifting through the air. The cool marble walls have been draped with mingling swathes of purple and silver silk, with touches of white for smooth contrast. Set about the room, tall silver candelabras hold long purple tapers, their soft glow gleaming on the rug and silks. On the balcony above, more swathes of purple and silver silk have been draped, shimmering with a scattering of silver glitter. More glitter is dusted across the marble floor, and over the soft petals of the flowers.

Nar 20th, 228

The light intrudes through the windows and the balcony, lighting the Throne Room in al its majesty. The clear sky is reflected by the sea outside, where birds and ships move in the distance. The scent of stargazer lilies and irises takes over the air - even the wave that enters as the guards open the tall entrance door.

Inside, the Mobrin Throne awaits. The seat of the ruler of the realm, accompanied by a similar one at its right side, reserved for the Queen. And there, waiting expectantly with his arms resting by the sides, Callem looks with his serious and solemn expression, down the golden crown that shines as the outside world.

Laetitia is there as well, seated with hot tea in front of her, the Queen lightly sipping on it as she sits, back straight, waiting. Beneath the table at her feet curled up and snoozing is Bird, her wolf, who keeps her company and acts as a partial guard.

That massive door silently opens, and in equal silence, a lone man steps into the great chamber. He phases after the second step and bows to the throne. After he straigtens, he greets, "Your royal majesties, your messenger informed me to come. I await your command."

A company. Quite huge company. They all enter the Throne room. First of all steps a man. Man in his 25 or 26 summers.

He is wearing loose shirt with a deep collar that is open to allow a glimpse of his broad, muscular chest, and sleeves that billow like the sails of a great ship. Over the shirt he wears a padded dark brown leather vest that provides the first layer of armor to protect him in a fight. He wears pants of a sturdy cloth in color to match the vest. To protect his lower legs and feet, he wears heavy riding boots with hard soles and shanks that rise almost to his knees. Around his waist is a stout belt with a scabbard for a sword and a large leather pouch in which he carries his jingling coin.

A small and very elegant fingers are resting on his arm. It's young princess Emerit, who is following her half-brother the Grand Duke Mantilo Moniwid.

The man is going very proudly, maybe a little bit disgruntled.

Three guards of the princess and two guards of the Grand Duke are following the company. But the most important figures are four servants. One of them is carring something like a painting, covered with the silk veil. The same thing is carried by another servant, while two others are carring a huge chest.

When the man approaches the throne, he slightly bows his head and crosses arms on abdomen. "It is a pleasure to meet you. Finally to meet you, Your royal Highness Callem Kilgour," he just says and curious gaze is following both, King and the Queen.

Keeping slightly to the back, Emerit lets her half-brother the Grand Duke do all the talking for now, given her last attempt at political finesse was viewed by some as a little bit too straight forward. A long sleeved dress of dark green satin covers her slender frame, moderately cut at the decollete to allow a glimpse of her neck but naught of her modest womanly curves. A belt, a silver chain of small snakes accentuates her waist, and around her neck she wears a necklace with a silver pendant, shaped like a snake. "You Royal Highnesses," she greets, lowering herself into the deepest and most graceful curtsey she can muster, her moss green eyes turned downwards in modest reverence.

"Please, come in." the King says to Caedmon as he enters, offering him a smile and watching as the huge company enters the room. His eyes, for a heartbeat, slip to Laetitia as the multitude walk, and return in greeting to the Grand Duke and his half-sister.

"Your Royal Highness." he says first to Mantilo with a bow of his head. "Your Highness." he repeats the gesture to the lady. "It is an honor, and a pleasure, to finally have you here in my presence. I was told by the Chancellor of your visit to Darfield as soon as I returned to the castle. I only hope you have been treated as you deserve, and I hope you have enjoyed it so far." his gaze remains in the tall man for a longer moment, and two of his fingers drum softly to the side of the throne. "Now, please, tell me of your motifs. You surely have my curiosity."

Caedmon steps further into the room and and to one side, surely having heard the approach of Mantilo and his company. He bows to the arch-duke and the young princess when they arrive. "Welcome to both of you." He smiles, and when servants enter bearing their burdens, he adds, "And welcome to your servants."

The grand duke, not giving too much attention to his half-sister, who is around, sticks his curious gaze to the King. "Deserve or not, cultural differences do some strange things, Your Highness," answers the grand duke in his quite coolly tone, before glancing at the Queen. He bows his head for her once more and raises a hand to his pendant on the neck. Pendant is resting somewhere on a little bit bared chest. Strong chest. It is obviously a habbit of the grand duke. He loves that pendant. Or he loves his strong chest.

"I was talking with the Queen," starts grand duke "About the marriage. I belive you are in need of a strong ally as we are in need of some noble blood. So, we thought it would be very good to join our power by the marriage, Your Highness," straight to the business goes the grand duke, as he wouldn't have too much time for the perfectly made speaches. "I tried many times to finally reach some kind of agreement. So, I hope today we won't be disturbed. I have a sister, who is 27 years old. And I have 20 years old sister, who is unmarried too. I heared about your second son and I believe they would be just a perfect pair. The younger sister and you second son. If you are interested, I would love to present my sister…" drawls Mantilo and sticks his eyes at the grand duke.

When her gaze raises a touch Emerit suddenly becomes aware of the sleeping wolf, and she can't help but stare at the animal, her mouth slowly curving into a delighted smile. Moss green eyes flit to the King then at his greeting, but the Mist of the Island will avoid to stare at him, rather brush him with her gaze now and then. Her fiery red locks have been tamed into a single braid falling down her back, which makes Emerit feel a little awkward. Her hands become a little restless and start to smooth her skirts before one moves upwards to play with little necklace. Her gaze jumps to Mantilo as he launches into his oh so grand dukish speech, and the smile that tucks at her lips now is either affectionate, or amused. Or maybe both.

Laetitia leans in to murmur to the King briefly from her position at his side as Bird pushes up against the table as he stands, cups wavering in balance as he shoves his way up into the Queens lap to try and cuddle.

Laetitia whispers to Callem.

Callem listens carefully, leaning to his right to listen to the whispered words of the Queen before speaking himself. "I see." he says, darting an inquisitive and curious glance to the Arch Duke and his sister. "You have talked about the matter, as you tell me. Yet, marriage is a long process that involves many things, but mostly, time." his voice is as calmed as it uses to be. "We are always open to new alliances, and a strong government as yours will surely give us a friendship we would like to have and maintain. But, as I said, I cannot cast promises still about something that has to be worked at its normal pace." the fingers stop drumming.

"We can, though, find benefit to both parties, now that you are here. From this meeting, and if you agree, we can make deals to enforce us and help us to get closer to our… goals." his eyes stare for a moment at Emerit. "We have many goods to offer, and we can maintain routs to import and export them. I am sure you do, as well, and your healers and heal supplies are well known in our lands. Do you have some thoughts to offer us in that regard, Chancellor?"

"I do, your majesties," Caedmon answers while taking another step toward the table. He inclines his head to Mantilo and Emerit, and continues. "Our last meeting did suffer some interruption, your royal highness and your highness. Hoewver, perhaps you now shed that it was a serendipitous interruption, because it bring you not to speak with the queen alone, but to both their royal majesties, and to present your proposals in a grander setting than where we started." He turns to speak to the thrones. "His royal highness suggested, during that conversation, that we have some resources that might be of interest - iron, copper, and other metals, for example, and precious stones with which to adorn lovely ladies such as her highness." Here, he glances briefly toward Emerit. His eyes do not linger on her improperly. He does, however, offer a smile of genuine warmth and kindness.

The Grand Duke raises his eyebrow, listening what the Chancellor is saying. "Well, the Queen said a little bit different words in our chit-cht, I would say, Your Highness. The problem is that we have enough resourses to live happily. Long and happy. We just mentioned it… Because it would be nice, but it is not too much important for our lands. The only resourse we are really lack is noble blood. For this reason we are here for the betrothal," the Grand Duke glances at the Emerit "I am not talking about my little sister, though. I see your eyes running to her. She is very good on healing, though. But we are not too much interested in sharing our knowledge. Your Highness, I believe you understand, that sometimes knowledge are worth more than any resourses," the Grand Duke takes a scratch of his chest "I know that betrothal can last longer that year. I am offering you the hand of my sister. Very talented young girl. She is artist, already known by the world. And she will be even more famous," The Grand Duke playfully raises his eybrow once more, putting one of his hands on the shoulders of the young Emerit "You are not the only one, who can offer some kind of resourses: like iron… But you are, Your Highness, the only one, whose blood would be just perfect for my family, if you understand, what I mean…"

Ooh, the wolf jumps into the Queen's lap? Emerit's gaze follows the animal, her lips pursed, her eyes almost closed in delight at observing Bird's longing to be cuddled. But her attention is again distracted, when the King gives his reply to Mantilo, and she listens attentively what he has to say. Noticing King Callem's stare when he talks about his goals, makes her feel even more awkward, a blush creeps up her face, turning it a deep shade of red, and she lowers her gaze at once. But as Emerit hears Caedmon speaking about the resources - proposing almost wonderful opportunities for trade, she raises her gaze again, listening attentively, one hand still at her snake pendant which does indeed have two tiny malachits worked into the silver as the snake's eyes. His stare doesn't make her feel awkward, strangely enough.

And then Mantilo gives his answer. Emerit listens and some relief becomes visible when he stresses that this negotiation will not be about her. But then her gaze flits to the Grand Duke's hand on her shoulder, and when he continues about needing the noble Kilgour blood… She swallows hard, as some creepy feeling rises up in her stomach. Leaning a touch foward, she hisses something into Mantilo's ear, apparently quite at unease.

"Well, your Highness, in our discussions we discussed possibilities, and truly many things are possible. As I said …our chat was casual, merely exploration …but as you see, the King is perhaps wishing to ease our Kingdoms way into a blossoming foundation with your own Kingdom. Marriage certainly is not off the table, but .." A pause as the woman gently hugs the massive head of her wolf as he nudges his great snout beneath her chin, "As with any alliances, the pathways must be forced first through mutual goodwill and supply, yes? As a boon of ones readiness to dive into something much deeper such as the marriage between two Kingdoms."

The King of Mobrin nods to the Chancellor's words and adds after Mantilo's, "Sometimes it is not just about what we need. But the path we walk and the trails we are opening. The alliance we make before a bigger step, and as the Queen said, the marriage is not out of the table. But it is a decision we have to consider carefully, and in the meanwhile many good opportunities may arise." he stops to glance again at Caedmon and awaits for the Arch Duke before speaking again.

When Emerit whispers to the ear of the Grand Duke, Mantilo listens for her even more carefully than for the King or the Queen. He nods his head and leans to whisper her back.

After this, the Grand Duke Mantilo raises his head at the Queen and the King, slightly waving with his finger to the one of the guards. He comes closer and two men speaks with each other for a moment, before the Grand Duke glances at the King "Your Highness, my half-sister princess Emerit Moniwid is here, because some day she will be just a perfect ambassador. For this reason, I am leaving her to speak about this agreement you are seeking of. My words are speaking by her lips," the man bows to the Queen and to the King "I hope you will respect her as much as me. And I can't wait to see that agreement, Your Royal Highness." And the man turns to leave together with just a one guard and these four servants, who had paintings, covered with silk veils and a chest. These all people are leaving. Just the Princess Emerit with four guards are left to make all the deals as she would be the ambasador.

The chancellor, for his part, remains silent while those of higher rank banter among themselves. When Bird nudges the queen's chin in a way that he has seen often enough, he smiles and his eyes twinkle with mild amusement. His eyebrows lift when the grand duke suddenly announces that he will leave matters in the hands of his half-sister, but Caedmon also nods. He watches while the guards open the doors and allow the ruler of Moriwid to leave. Then he looks toward the throne, waiting for the royal reactions.

Whatever Mantilo whispers into Emerit's ear, at first she looks relieved, then pale, as she looks at her brother with an incredulous stare. Then he is suddenly gone, the servants with the veiled paintings with him. And she - left alone. And in charge of… negotiations? The Mist of the Island almost loses her balance, and for a tiny moment there is insecurity in her moss green eyes.

Emerit closes them for a moment and concentrates on her breathing. When her eyes open again, they have a dangerously stubborn look to them. Her posture straightens, and seeing Caedmon's nod, she takes two steps closer to assume the position her brother, the Grand Duke, has just left. "Very well then… I hope you don't have any objections to continue with the negotiations with me as negotiator." Avoiding the word 'Ambassador' for now - it just does not seem to fit well for a young princess of her age.

"Have a good day, Your Royal Highness." Callem says after a long pondering. His eyes drift to Laetitia, and then to Caedmon, to finally rest on Emerit. A new nod of greeting is given, although he had made it when she entered. But the explanation doesn't take long to come.

"From the Crown of Mobrin, you will be welcomed here as the Ambassador of your House and lands, Princess Emerit. If so your brother and you dispose, you will be treated as such in Darfield and the Realm. I understand you speak with full authority, so I can't see a reason not to proceed. But, in trade matters, Queen Laetitia and Chancellor Caedmon are better versed than I am. So, I will rely on them. Everything they decide will be done. My words are theirs."

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